I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is M is for Morning Pages.
Julia Cameron introduced Morning pages to the world in her book, The Artist’s Way. At the time The Artist’s Way was published, the ideas in it were revolutionary. The purpose of the book was to “unblock” artists and writers and foster their self-confidence.
Julia Cameron first published The Artist’s Way in 1992. Julia originally compiled tips and hints from artists, for artists, into a book and tried to get it published. It was turned down! Julia ended up self-publishing the book and the sales went wild. It’s sold millions of copies and is on the list of top 100 self-help books of all time. This is quite an encouraging story for self-published authors.
What are Morning Pages?
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing done every morning, first thing in the morning. You simply get 3 sheets of paper and a favorite pen or pencil and write until the pages are filled. You can write anything that comes to mind. It might be what you dreamed the night before or an argument you had with your spouse before you even got out of bed. They could even be a grocery list if that’s what’s on your mind.
No one will ever see your morning pages. Even you aren’t meant to look back on them any more than you would peek into your rubbish bin at the end of the week. They almost are rubbish. Morning pages help you sort through the jumble of things that lay on your mind each morning when you wake up and clear it all out.
Morning Pages aren’t just for writers. They have helped people in an array of creative capacities. We all have the problem of becoming blocked oncein a while.
My Experience with Morning Pages
For me, Morning Pages are hard. They aren’t meant to be. There is no right or wrong way to do them. But I am a perfectionist of sorts. I often ponder a sentence for a half an hour, trying to figure out the right way to express a thought. Morning pages are meant to be fast—no pondering. No spelling or grammar check allowed.
Not only that but writing longhand is difficult for me, especially in the morning when my arthritic hands are at their stiffest. So, the handwriting looks awful, which bothers me.
Have Morning Pages Helped?
They have. As much as I don’t like doing them, they are like taking vitamins. Over the course of three pages, the thoughts in my mind that would ordinarily pop in and interrupt me as I am doing my creative writing are sorted out and dealt with. I write them as I drink the last of my morning coffee, and by the time I am done, I feel more energized. It could be the coffee.
They Take Time
Don’t expect to be a creative genius or have your stubborn writer’s block disappear after one set of Morning Pages. It does take a while. I feel confident that you will notice a difference within a couple of weeks, though. By the way, your feelings toward the morning pages won’t be much of an indicator of whether they are working or not. I still don’t like doing them. They force me to slow down and look inward (which I don’t like either). But both make me a better writer. Pick a notebook, any notebook and begin to write.
While you’re here, sign up for my email list to get a periodic email newsletter to encourage your creativity.
What are YOUR thoughts?
I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.
My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available at Amazon.com.
I also blog about living with cancer at, Facing Cancer with Grace.